Ignacio González to be replaced by José María Benavent as Nueva Pescanova CEO

Nueva Pescanova CEO Ignacio González.

Nueva Pescanova CEO Ignacio González is stepping down on 16 June, and will be replaced in the position by José María Benavent, who currently serves as the company’s executive chairman.

González began as CEO of Vigo, Spain-based Nueva Pescanova in February 2016, and led the company through the aftermath of  a messy bankruptcy procedureallegations of financial mismanagement, the firing of the former CEO and board of directors, and a drawn-out fight with the major shareholders of its previous corporate entity (dubbed Old Pescanova).

González also created a strategic plan centered around new funding and new products, and brought on Chris Maze to serve as president and CEO of Pescanova USA.

“The number one reason I made the move is because of Ignacio Gonzalez,” Maze told SeafoodSource in 2020. “He was the best boss I ever had. His vision, leadership, [and] support was unparalleled. I learned so much from him, and we had a lot of success together. That was the big draw and was what led to the initial talks on me joining Pescanova.”

In a press release, Nueva Pescanova said González’s departure was “due to personal reasons and his parting has been mutually agreed.”

“During these exciting years, Ignacio has led with determination the transformation that the company needed, and took it to the place where it is now, with a renewed and competitive fleet, innovating in aquaculture, in products, in advertising, with a revitalized brand, better compliance and processes, with sustainability and social responsibility as key strategies, a renovated culture and a rebuilt reputation,” it said.

Nueva Pescnova said Benavent, who has served as the company’s executive chair since 2020 and board member since 2019, will continue with González’s efforts.

“His extensive experience in the company will allow him to continue with the process,” it said.

Nueva Pescanova is in the process of being sold, with Canadian seafood conglomerate Cooke Inc. entering into an exclusive negotiating agreement in April 2023 to purchase an 80 percent stake in the company.

González supports the effort, Nueva Pescanova Global Chief Marketing, Innovation, and Communication Officer Miguel Angel González Ezquerra told SeafoodSource at the 2023 Seafood Expo Global.

“He thinks it is going to be a good deal,” Gonzalez Ezquerra said. “First of all, we share the same vision regarding product development and regarding the relevance of aquaculture in the future. Secondly, we are similar we have the same views but we are different regarding geographies and species. They work in salmon, scallops, sea bass, and sea bream, while e work in vannamei, Argentine red shrimp, hake, and cod. And they basically work in North America and Asia, and we have a stronghold in Europe and a little bit of Asia and North America. So we are quite complementary.”

Photo courtesy of Nueva Pescanova


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